Great Barrier Island New Zealand
12 January 2010 | 36 10.921'S:175 21.497'E, Kaiarara Bay
After a great New Year's we left Viaduct Harbour Marina 2 January and headed to Islington Bay - Rangitoto Island, went ashore by Kayaks and explored one of the Island walks to the ex American Army Base Camp! Weather conditions changed so we headed to Waiheke Island and anchored Huruhi Bay to sit out a blow and rainy conditions - We dinghyed into shore and explored Oneroa Shops Village - quaint place local arts and craft shops & restaurants with great views.
On the 4 Jan we made the most of the weather and headed for Great Barrier Island spending sailing the whole way! We anchored in Smokehouse Bay (ashore here has a hot and cold shower and bath house for cruisers and a few old tubs and wringers for washing and three hill's hoists & of course smokehouses for your catch compliments of a local family), Smokehouse bay is beautiful spot, we kayaked around the surrounding bay for a couple of hours and braved a swim in the freezing water...the mountains here are spectacular just so picturesque! beaches...red/black sand & pebbles.(Still looking for my white sandy beach!) John decided to have a swim later that afternoon just pulling his bathers on ready to dive in and stopped short as a 8ft White pointer Shark was on the surface hovering around...The shark made a bee line for a boat with young teenagers swimming ... John called "Shark" (The whole anchorage was on the bow of their boats) the young guys quickly lept onboard their boat...The father pulled out about 6 fish he had in the water which obviously was attracting this unwelcome visitor...John re-enacted what happened to me and lo and behold the shark was their again! John obviously looked tasty...no swimming today!
We headed out fishing for the day around surrounding Great Barrier Island Bay's we had explored in the dinghy the day before...no luck with the fish! Sunny conditions instead of the Freezing SW wind's we have been getting. Anchored at Port Fitzroy Great Barrier for 3 nights, we had the catamaran "Carinthia" (Dietmar & Suzanne) anchored in the bay with us (John & Mindy friends onboard Carinthia & Richard & Suzzane dropped by) We enjoyed these guys company,playing a fun card game called "Bonjour Madame!" and generally partying! The main reason we were all their was for the local yearly Mussel Fest at Port Fitzroy...we tasted Mussel's done in various forms ... these green lipped mussels were massive so not our favorite cousine but thoroughly enjoyed the day which included a local entertainers & an Irish Band which we extremely entertaining who played into the afternoon.
10/1/10 We headed for Kaikoura Island East Bay, A great spot out of the wind, but extremely popular as we became invaded later in the day by boats. John went fishing on the point and caught 6 great meal size snapper within an hour...my kind of fishing!
11/1/09 Weather forcing us to enjoy different locations we moved to Kaiarara Bay where we still are. Yesterday we enjoyed a 4 hour round trip walk to The Kauri Dam which is one of 7 on the Island from 1920's no longer used of course. The walk was thru rainforest, over creeks, waterfalls and generally climbing, climbing! Great Views. All around these Islands are various walking tracks from 15min - 31/2hrs...so we plan to utilise these tracks to prepare to get fit for our next passage in May (Tonga!!)
Hope you are all Safe & Well ... and 2010 is treating you good! New Zealand is a beautiful spot...a bit cold...missing my Qld weather a bit...but having a blast and enjoying the local seafood they have on offer and of course all the sailing friends we meet along the way. Bye for Now Lea & John x